American Religion: Denominational Newspapers
An America’s Historical Newspapers Collection
America’s Historical Newspapers is a fabulous tool for research...and it will also be rewarding for…teachers and students who want to use old newspapers as part of their study of the American story.
Bruce Chadwick, Professor of History, Rutgers University in Journal of American History

Quick Facts

  • Exclusive focus on American denominational newspapers during the age of religion
  • More than 320 newspapers from 30-plus states, all published between 1799 and 1900
  • Important commentary on such social issues as slavery, women’s suffrage and the Temperance movement 

Overview

Religion was the epicenter of nearly everything in the 19th century, dubbed the age of religion. It was a dominant cultural and social force, shaping views on slavery, politics, westward expansion and other great issues of the day. Religious belief was almost universal, and the Second Great Awakening (1800-1830) brought many new denominations—each with their own newspapers.

Reflecting this influence, this unique collection provides invaluable denominational insight, as well as news and opinions on divisive local, regional and national issues of high interest to congregants. Thus, American Religion: Denominational Newspapers holds immense value for students and scholars of not only religious and theological history, but also American history as a whole.

Strong, varied opinions on slavery, women’s suffrage, Prohibition
Activist editorial philosophy pervades these 320-plus papers published throughout the U.S. from 1799 to 1900. Far exceeding inspirational homilies, the editors of these denominational newspapers took stands on major issues of the time. Slavery led the list. A mixture of pro- and anti-slavery stances before 1830 evolved to nearly across-the-board condemnation of slavery after 1850. Southern papers had to navigate a tricky situation. The often eloquent editorial commentary in these titles also spans women’s suffrage, the Temperance movement, civil rights, Native American relocation and local-government corruption.

Major and local denominations represented
Newspapers were published in all American regions by many of the major denominations, including the Methodist, Baptist, Adventist, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, African Methodist Episcopal and Reformed Dutch. Localized denominations, such as the Mormon Church, also published papers. Key titles include the Pacific (San Francisco, CA), Methodist Advocate (Atlanta, GA), Sandwich Island Gazette (Honolulu, HI), New Covenant (Chicago, IL), Catholic Standard (New Orleans, LA), Christian Mirror (Portland, ME), Catholic Herald (Philadelphia, PA), Christian Witness and Church Advocate (Boston, MA), Christian Messenger (Dallas, TX), Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT) and many others.

Other subject-specific newspaper collections
American Religion: Denominational Newspapers is part of a new group of collections designed to meet targeted teaching and research needs. The other subject-specific collections are American Business: Agricultural Newspapers, American Business: Mercantile Newspapers, American Gazettes: Newspapers of Record and American Politics: Campaign Newspapers.

Reviews

“Presents 320-plus titles from more than 30 states published between 1799 and 1900. This resource addresses the wide variety of religious perspectives on major political and social issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, and the relocation of Native Americans….highly recommended for academic libraries seeking to expand their primary source coverage in history…”
Library Journal, reviewing subject-specific collections of America’s Historical Newspapers (June 2016)

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